Denton’s special character and values as a creative, conscious community make it a great place to study, live, work, raise children, and retire. But mindless overdevelopment can steamroll that character away and turn us into just another northern metroplex suburb.

Paul feels the time is over for throwing incentives at anybody willing to invest in Denton. We’re already one of the fastest-growing cities in the country and one of the best for entrepreneurs. We’re already an attractive proposition. Now is the time to have a little more steel in our spine and specifically encourage investment that fits our character, complements our values, and contributes to the life of the city. Now is the time to ask “How will your company distinctively add to the good qualities of Denton?” Will you be sustainable in an innovative way we can point to with pride? Will your Downtown housing project include an arts or performance venue, with a percentage of units set aside for affordable housing? Will you fund (and enjoy naming rights) for, say, a shelter and encourage your employees to volunteer there? Will you allow your warehouse rooftop to be part of our municipal solar farm?

Being part of a community with a real identity is a great privilege. Let’s encourage those who value it.

Smart growth also means enhancing and preserving our old growth tree canopy, not selling it off. 100-year-old post oaks should be landmarked and built around, as the original tree ordinance called for, not clear cut.

Many are also rightly concerned with how UNT’s growth plans will affect established historic neighborhoods with inappropriate apartment complexes and extreme pressure on street parking. Paul has the skills to bring all parties to the table to generate creative alternatives we can all get behind. Architecturally-appropriate and right-scaled infill can be part of the solution, along with redevelopment in the “Cement City” area, dorm construction on campus and thoughtful, collaborative reexamination of the pace of growth being targeted.